by Captain W. E. Johns



XI.   WORRALS TAKES A PRISONER  (Pages 130 – 144)


Worrals soon finds that crossing the island is not as easy a task as she suspected due to the thickness of the undergrowth and our heroes are forced to return to the beach to look for a native path.  After quarter of a mile they find a path, but it winds a serpentine course and is littered with rocks and boulders, making progress at night difficult and dangerous.  After three hours they are not even half way but they decide to carry on.  When they eventually get to the bay the ‘Tamaroa’ has gone.  Suddenly they hear shooting and they run for about quarter of a mile and turn a headland and see a repetition of the Maital massacre but on a smaller scale.  In addition, two white men are in the hands of Japanese sailors and there is a Japanese officer “in a white uniform resplendent with gold braid.  He was a short, thick-set man, with the usual squat features and prominent cheek bones of the Japanese.  A black moustache, drooping at the ends, made it difficult to judge his age.  He might have been thirty – not more”.   Harry drew in his breath with a hiss.  “My Gawd!  That looks like Sammy himself” he ejaculated.  The officer is about to behead one of the white men so Worrals and her party attack, firing their guns.  The Japanese are taken by surprise and fall back in disorder and the officer is captured.  He speaks English and identifies himself as General His Highness the Prince Samurai.  Worrals tells him that she knows he has Pamela Deacon on board his gunboat and she forces him to order that she be bought to them.  The two white men turn out to be Jan Vandergroot and his friend Uleef, planters from Java who had escaped to this island.  Uleef is ill with fever.  Pam is bought to them and she confirms there are no other girls on board the boat.  She had been captured three days ago when she tried to canoe to another island to seek rescue for the party of girls.  Out of the party of nine, two are now dead, one killed by a Jap shell hitting a village in which they were hiding and one having died of fever.  Worrals leaves with her party and they take Prince Samurai with them.  Worrals warns that if any attempt is made to follow them, Samurai will be killed.  “Rama was limping badly and Kleef had to be supported”.  (This is an interesting typing error as the sick planter from Java was called Uleef on page 140 but by page 143 he is now called Kleef!).  They follow the central path back up to the high ridge they crossed earlier and then they just release Prince Samurai.  “We’ve never made a practice of shooting prisoners and I don’t propose to start.  I sent him off now because I don’t want him to see the aircraft” says Worrals.  They return to the Scud which is still there and Worrals says they will return to Ingles Island and hope that the petrol is there.